EMDR Research News November 2012
This month we feature “EMDR as an orientation as opposed to a technique?” one of eight video segments with questions from Stephen Dansiger, PsyD, Executive Director of the ONE80CENTER who interviewed me at their Summitridge treatment center in Los Angeles August 17, 2012.
With each reference below, you will find the citation, abstract and author contact information (when available). Prior quarterly summaries of journal articles can be found on the EMDRIA website and a comprehensive listing of all EMDR-related research is available at the Francine Shapiro Library. EMDRIA members can access recent Journal of EMDR Practice and Research articles in the member’s area on the EMDRIA website. JEMDR issues older than 12 months are available open access on IngentaConnect.
Video of the month
This month’s video features Andrew M. Leeds, Ph.D. in an ONE80CENTER interview speaking on “EMDR as an orientation as opposed to a technique?” This is one of eight question and answer segments recorded August 17, 2012 at ONE80CENTER’s treatment center at Summitridge in Los Angeles. An unedited, rough transcript of the video is also available in the “About” tab on YouTube.
Altink, A. J. A., van Terwisga, P., Helms, F. D. G., & Oostenbroek, S. H. (2012). Word tracking task as an alternative to horizontal eye movements in the reduction of vividness and emotionality of aversive memories in EMDR. Social Cosmos, 3(2), 185-199.
Full text: http://socialcosmos.library.uu.nl/index.php/sc/article/viewFile/61/56
When treating a patient with PTSD, therapists often use eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). In EMDR patients make horizontal eye movements (HEM) while the image of a traumatic memory is recalled. Various studies showed that making HEM during recall of an aversive memory results in a decline in vividness and emotionality of this memory. This study aimed to create an alternative task that would be less physically demanding for the therapist than applying HEM. This task should, according to the working memory (WM) hypothesis, tax the WM as much as HEM. To accomplish this goal, a word-tracking task (WTT) was created in which an oval that moved over a matrix with color-words had to be followed with the eyes. Experiment I showed that the WTT taxes WM, though not as much as HEM. In experiment II, both the WTT and HEM resulted in a decrease in vividness and emotionality of an aversive memory. The results obtained raise questions about a supposed linear relationship between the WM-taxing and EMDR-efficacy of tasks. Further investigation of this relationship is recommended. Also recommended is further study in a clinical population. The WTT seems to be a good alternative for horizontal eye movements in EMDR.
Hasanović, M., Morgan, S., Kravić, N., & Pajević, I. (2012). P-1142-Training bosnia-herzegovina mental health workers in EMDR in the aftermath of the 1992--1995 war. European Psychiatry, 27. doi:10.1016/S0924-9338(12)75309-9
M. Hasanović, Department of Psychiatry, University Clinical Center Tuzla.
The primary objective will focus the first of all on Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization (EMDR) as an evidence based intervention in the treatment of psycho-traumatized individuals. Its effectiveness has been validated by extensive research. It outlines in particular an EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Training Programme that took place in Tuzla University Clinical Centre, Department of Psychiatry, in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BH) in response to 1992–1995 war, in helping to train mental health workers in EMDR to enable them to treat psychological trauma symptoms of war survivors.
Authors described educational process considering the history of idea and its realization through training levels and process of supervision which was provided from the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) of UK &Ireland with non profit, humanitarian approach in sharing skills of EMDR to mental health therapists in BH.
Highly dedicated internationally approved trainers from HAP UK & Ireland provided completed EMDR training for 19 trainees: neuro- psychiatrists, residents of neuro-psychiatry and psychologists from eight different health institutions from six different cities in BH. Training started with 24 trainees, but five of them were prevented to complete training. To be accredited EMDR therapists all trainees are obliged to practice EMDR therapy with clients under the supervision process of HAP UK & Ireland supervisors. Because of physical distance between supervisors and trainees, supervision is organized via Skype Internet technology.
Training of Bosnia-Herzegovina mental health workers to effectively use EMDR with enthusiastic help of EMDR trainers from HAP UK & Ireland will increase psychotherapy capacities in postwar BH.
Jeffries, F. W., & Davis, P. (2012). What is the role of eye movements in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? A review. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 1-11. doi:10.1017/S1352465812000793
Paul Davis, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 5XH, UK. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Controversy continues to exist regarding how EMDR works and whether its mechanisms differ from those at work in standard exposure techniques. Aims: To investigate first whether eye movement bilateral stimulation is an essential component of EMDR and, second, the current status of its theoretical basis. Method: A systematic search for relevant articles was conducted in databases using standard methodology. Results: Clinical research evidence is contradictory as to how essential EMs are in PTSD treatment. More positive support is provided by analogue studies. With regards to potential theoretical support, some evidence was found suggesting bilateral stimulation first increases access to episodic memories; and second that it could act on components of working memory which makes focusing on the traumatic memories less unpleasant and thereby improves access to these memories. Conclusions: The results suggest support for the contention that EMs are essential to this therapy and that a theoretical rationale exists for their use. Choice of EMDR over trauma-focused CBT should therefore remain a matter of patient choice and clinician expertise; it is suggested, however, that EMs may be more effective at reducing distress, and thereby allow other components of treatment to take place.
Laugharne, R. (2012). P-1265 - A role for EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) in the treatment of trauma in patients suffering from a psychosis. European Psychiatry, 27, Supplement 1(0). doi:10.1016/S0924-9338(12)75432-9
Richard Laughame, Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust, Liskeard, UK. (email@example.com)
Patients with a functional psychosis are more likely to have a history of trauma, symptoms of PTSD and may have been traumatised by their psychotic symptoms. We present an anonymised case series of patients (who have given consent) suffering from a functional psychotic illness who had a significant history of trauma with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After receiving eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), each patient showed an improvement in their PTSD symptoms and reported an improvement in the quality of their lives. As a history of trauma and PTSD symptoms are more frequent in patients with a psychosis, and trauma may be an aetiological component of psychosis, EMDR treatment needs to be researched and explored as a treatment opportunity in this patient group.
Mills, S., & Hulbert-Williams, L. (2012). Distinguishing between treatment efficacy and effectiveness in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Implications for contentious therapies. Counselling Psychology Quarterly. doi:10.1080/09515070.2012.682563
Dr Lee Hulbert-Williams, School of Applied Sciences, Wolverhampton University, Wolverhampton, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Research psychologists often complain that practitioners disregard research evidence whilst practitioners sometimes accuse researchers of failing to produce evidence with sufficient ecological validity. We discuss the tension that thus arises using the specific illustrative examples of two treatment methods for post-traumatic stress disorder: eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing and exposure-based interventions. We discuss the contextual reasons for the success or failure of particular treatment models that are often only tangentially related to the theoretical underpinnings of the models. We discuss what might be learnt from these debates and develop recommendations for future research.
Regourd-Laizeau, M., Martin-Krumm, C., & Tarquinio, C. (2012). Interventions dans le domaine du sport: Le protocole d'optimisme. [Interventions in the field of sport: Protocol of optimism.]. Pratiques Psychologiques. doi:10.1016/j.prps.2012.02.001
Charles Martin-Krumm. CREAD/IUFM de Bretagne, EA 3875, école interne UBO, Rennes et IFEPS Angers, 153, rue de Saint-Malo, 35043 Rennes, France. email@example.com
Optimism can be envisaged according to various approaches. It is possible to envisage it according to a direct point of view as, for example, the proposition of Carver and Scheier (1982) and the concept of dispositional optimism. It is also possible to envisage an indirect point of view as Abramson et al. (1978) and the concept of optimistic explanatory style. Whatever is the reserved option, the optimism is mainly associated with beneficial effects, and what whatever the contexts are: health, workplace, school, or sports performance. Consequently, techniques intended to increase the level of optimism became crucial in various domains and have been finalized. The main contribution of this article is to present some of these techniques and to develop more precisely the contribution of the eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the development of an optimistic explanatory style in the field of sports. Limits but also promising perspectives are discussed.
Rooijmans, J., Rosenkamp, N. H. G., Verholt, P., & Visscher, R. A. (2012). The effect of eye movements on craving, pleasantness and vividness in smokers. Social Cosmos, 3(2), 200-214.
Full text available at: http://socialcosmos.library.uu.nl/index.php/sc/article/view/62
The presence of craving is an important factor in continuing smoking. Following the Elaborated Intrusion (EI) theory of Desire, craving is effective through the formation of smoking-related mental images. In the current study, craving was generated through the use of a future personal smoking-related image. Eye movements were observed in accordance with the Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) intervention. The effect of these eye movements on craving was investigated. In addition, the effect of eye movements on the pleasantness and vividness of the image was examined. 36 participants took part in a within- subjects design with repeated measures. In line with expectations, perceived craving decreased immediately after the experimental condition (eye movements) was experienced. This decrease was not found in the control condition (fixation on a plain wall). After recall of the smoking-related image, the extra measurement showed that the decrease was temporary. Contrary to expectations, the degree of pleasantness and vividness did not decrease after eye movements. In conclusion, the eye movements were found to have only a temporary effect on craving for cigarettes, and did not result in desensitization of the pleasantness and vividness of the personal smoking-related images.